The next Congress: deeds vs. words
- Before reading Nancy Pelosi's piece, I'd ask you all
to take a look at these articles on Hastings and
Harman (in addition to the one on Murtha I sent out
Feds Probe a Top Democrat's Relationship with AIPAC
Corruption Case Resurfaces For Alcee Hastings
Impeached Judge May Chair House Intelligence Committee
House Intelligence Committee: Pelosi v. Harman v.
from the November 14, 2006 edition
Democrats will not disappoint
We pledge to make this the most honest, ethical, and
open Congress in history.
By Nancy Pelosi
WASHINGTON The morning after the election, I
received a powerful reminder of why so many of us
choose public service as our life's work. While
walking into my office, I ran into a group of
schoolchildren who had come to visit the Capitol.
Talking with them reminded me of the solemn
responsibility each generation has to the ones that
follow. Their enthusiasm and energy spoke more
powerfully than any words could that they are
inheritors of the future we choose to build today.
This year, voters elected Democratic candidates from
every region of America, giving Democrats the majority
in both the House of Representatives and the Senate,
and entrusting us with a great deal of responsibility
for building that future.
With their votes, the American people asked for
change. They cast their ballots in favor of a New
They called for greater integrity in Washington, and
Democrats pledge to make this the most honest,
ethical, and open Congress in history.
The American people called for greater civility in how
Congress conducts its work, and Democrats pledge to
conduct our work with civility and bipartisanship, and
to act in partnership - not partisanship - with the
president and Republicans in Congress.
I met with President Bush at the White House two days
after the election, and we both extended the hand of
friendship. We recognized that we have our
differences, and we will debate them as our Founding
Fathers intended, but we will do so in a way that gets
results for the American people.
The American people called for greater economic
fairness, and we pledge to work for an economy that
enables all Americans to participate in the economic
success of our country.
Nowhere was the call for a New Direction clearer than
in the war in Iraq. The strategy of "stay the course"
is not working, has not made our country safer, has
not honored our commitment to our troops, and has not
brought stability to the region.
The president's acceptance of Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld's resignation on Wednesday is an encouraging
step. It's an opportunity for a fresh start in Iraq,
and I hope it's a precursor to a change in policy.
With integrity, civility, and fiscal responsibility as
our guide, Democrats intend to move forward with the
agenda for change on which we were elected. We will:
Make America safer by implementing the
recommendations of the 9/11 commission.
Make our economy fairer by raising the minimum wage
and ending taxpayer subsidies for sending jobs
Make college more affordable by cutting the interest
rates on student loans.
Improve healthcare by allowing Medicare to negotiate
for lower prescription drug prices and promoting
Achieve energy independence within 10 years by
investing America's energy dollars in the Midwest
instead of the Middle East.
Guarantee a dignified retirement by improving
Medicare, protecting Social Security, and making it
easier to save for retirement.
These items are not just the Democratic agenda; all of
them enjoy broad bipartisan support. Democrats will
work with members of both parties to secure their
passage, because progress will not be victory for any
one party, but for all of the American people.
Democrats do not see our congressional majorities as
the end point in a long and hard-fought campaign, but
rather the starting point - an opportunity to work on
behalf of all Americans.
The American people - many Republican and independent
voters among them - entrusted Democrats with their
hopes and aspirations for themselves, their families,
and their future. We are prepared to lead and ready to
govern. We will honor that trust, and we will not
Nancy Pelosi is currently the Democratic leader of
the House of Representatives. In January, she is
expected to become speaker of the House, the first
woman ever to serve in that capacity.